Mind Your Language – Communicating With Corporates

March 24th 2015       Sally Ormond       communication, management speak, marketing jargon, tone of voice

avoid marketing speak



“Through our organisational changes we’ll strategically transition towards a more customer centric approach. Going forward, by leveraging KPIs this paradigm shift will cultivate a results orientated environment cultivating workable growth strategies.”


Well, that’s a few seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

Marketing-speak, corporate jargon, or whatever else you care to call it should be banned.

A staple of the corporate world, it seems to be their way of saying a lot without actually saying anything.

The general census amongst the business world is that it:

  • Sounds impressive
  • Is a necessary part of doing business
  • Is expected by their customers

Wrong, wrong and wrong.

Presenting your marketing in that style makes me (the reader) think that actually you have no idea what you’re talking about. Especially when I ask for clarification and your response is a barrage of alternative marketing terms that also mean nothing.

The problem is that because it’s become so ingrained in the corporate world if you don’t speak it you’re seen as an outsider.

So what happens if you run a small business and have to sell to corporates?

Dare to be different

Most businesses will try to emulate this incomprehensible style of communication because they think it’s the only way they’ll be taken seriously by their target audience.

Well, I think it’s down to the smaller business to show these behemoths how it should be done.

Don’t tell them permanent recruitment is your core competency; tell them you know a lot about permanent recruitment.

Don’t start a dialogue with them; talk to them.

Don’t tell them how you utilise your resources; show them how you use them.

Don’t tell them you have multiple strengths you can leverage; tell them you have lots of great resources that will help them.

Keep it simple

Yes, your marketing must be targeted to your audience, but in relation to the benefits you offer them.
When it comes to language, keeping it simple and conversational will win every time.

By showing empathy and how you’re going to make their life better will be understood no matter how educated your reader is or how high up the ladder they are in their organisation.

They just want to know you understand their problem and have the solution to make it go away.


Forget trying to sound intelligent through the use of complex words or marketing jargon (which it doesn’t). Just tell it how it is.


Tags: communication, management speak, marketing jargon, tone of voice
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